The Innocent Man by John Grisham

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"Both an American tragedy and [Grisham's] strongest legal thriller yet, all the more gripping because it happens to be true."--Entertainment Weekly
 
In the town of Ada, Oklahoma, Ron Williamson was going to be the next Mickey Mantle. But on his way to the Big Leagues, Ron stumbled, his dreams broken by drinking, drugs, and women. Then, on a winter night in 1982, not far from Ron's home, a young cocktail waitress named Debra Sue Carter was savagely murdered. The investigation led nowhere. Until, on the flimsiest evidence, it led to Ron Williamson. The washed-up small-town hero was charged, tried, and sentenced to death--in a trial littered with lying witnesses and tainted evidence that would shatter a man's already broken life, and let a true killer go free.
 
Impeccably researched, grippingly told, filled with eleventh-hour drama, The Innocent Man reads like a page-turning legal thriller. It is a book no American can afford to miss.